Monthly meetings/programs are held at 7 p.m on first Tuesday of the month
at Harry P. Leu Gardens,
1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, FL 32803
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September 6 Program

The People Who Saved Natural Florida: 1965-1980

Presented by Mr. Bill Partington

     William, or Bill as he prefers, has done considerable freelance work over the years in the environmental sciences. He first started out with Pine Jog Environmental in West Palm Beach. He started the Federated Conservation Council of Palm Beach County and worked there from 1965-67. The council represented 20 local organizations to protect a large local marsh in the area. Soon after, Bill became the Assistant Director for the Florida Audubon Society from 1967-71. He was President of the Florida Defenders of the Environment from 1969-71, a group that was formed in Winter Park, bringing suit against the Cross Florida Barge Canal being built by the Army Corps of Engineers during that time. He was instrumental in getting President Nixon to make an executive order to halt the  construction of the canal. Bill served as Director of the Florida Conservation Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization from 1979-90, who's mission was to provide accurate information on an array of environmental controversies. A Ford Foundation grant was awarded to Mr. Partington during this tenure to fund scholarly activities in environmental laws, the Everglades, Florida water quality, and impacts of waterfront canals.
     Bill Partington is a founding member of the Florida Native Plant Society. He was Director of FNPS from 1979-85. During that time, the membership grew from 6 people to over a 1000. Bill Partington is famous for his calamity calendar- a calendar that was published yearly in the 1990s during the summer which featured cartoonists that poked fun of Florida's gator attacks, hurricanes, and overcrowding (see image to right). He has written several articles and taken photos for the Florida Audubon Society, New York Zoological Society, Wilderness Society magazine, several wildlife books, and numerous columns on the environmental impact of the Cross Florida Barge Canal (now called the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway). Bill Partington graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1950 with a bachelors degree in Biology. In 1995, Williams College awarded Mr. Partington their coveted bicentennial award for distinguished career achievement.
     Florida is famous for its wealth of scientists, writers, and activists who established parks, preserves, and named new species. Unfortunately, recent generations are not familiar much beyond their names and know little of the efforts made to rescue vanishing plants, landscapes, or animals. September's topic will cover noted conservationists between the years of 1965-80 such as Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, famed author of influential book "The Everglades: The River of Grass", John MacQuigg, Bill Lund, Arthur (Art) Marshall, Nathaniel Reed, Ken & Helen Morrison, and Marjorie & Archie Carr. Bill will touch base on his personal relationships with these people as well as how these important figures and their monumental efforts in Florida's conservation left their legacies in what can be found today. His presentation will be anecdotal to what went wrong when the Army Corps of Engineers planned to demonstrate what they were doing to the Ocklawaha River and how embarrassing their actions were when viewed in retrospect. Bill Partington will also share behind-the-scenes tidbits and funny stories on his past colleagues as a humorous diversion to the dire situation of Florida's imperiled beauty. This will be a casual-styled presentation and we encourage all our members to attend as we follow our dear friend and esteemed Tarflower member, Mr. Partington, down memory lane.

September 10 Field Trip

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve   by Pete Dunkelberg

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve is a beautiful estuarine ecosystem unlike anything we have here in Orlando area. Plan to meet on 9/10/16 at 9 a.m. Bring a picnic lunch, a camera, and plan on a very pleasant Saturday morning walk. Our Guide will be Trey Hannah of the Volusia Natural Lands program.

The preserve is just North of New Smyrna Beach on US with five entrances to choose from. We will meet at the 3251 N. Dixie Highway, NSB, FL 32168 entrance (map), and proceed to the Spruce Creek entrance later on.

DIRECTIONS: Make your way to State Road 44, driving East into New Smyrna, turn left (North) on US 1 for approximately five miles. From the Orlando area, allow 1hr 15 min drive time. Please contact Pete if you are planning to carpool from Burger king on Alafaya at 7:45 a.m. Again, bring a lunch or a snack.

Pack the usual things like hats and sunscreen and be ready for a very fine day.

1st: Juliet Rynear talks about Conservation Grants!
8th: GrowVember

October is Native Plant Month!     by Mark Kateli
     As you may remember, this initiative was first celebrated last year at Backyard Biodiversity Day. In anticipation for a wonderful event-studded month, Tarflower is pleased to celebrate Native Plant Month by screening "Hometown Habitat: Bringing Nature back home" at our October 4th general meeting. In collaboration with Cuplet Fern chapter, Orange Audubon Society, and the Central Florida Sierra Club we bring you this Meadow project film. This is a movie that details the lives of citizens across the country and how each of them are pursuing restoration, education, and conservation efforts to bring attention to the importance of native plants in our environment. The movie features famed author, entomologist, and wildlife ecologist, Dr. Doug Tallamy. His insights on how interdependent we are on native plants can also be found in his influential book, "Bringing Nature Home: How you can sustain wildlife with native plants".

   Please join us in celebrating Native Plant Month by kicking it off with a movie night experience! Our chapter meeting will start earlier than usual. Starting at 6:45 p.m. we will adjust for timely meeting announcements and a possible reading of the city proclamation for October Native Plant Month. Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will also be available at no charge. Donations in-kind will be gladly accepted at the door. This is an excellent opportunity to invite loved ones of all ages to accompany you and better understand why you are part of the Florida Native Plant Society.
Preview of Hometown Habitat Movie to be Shown at the October 4 Meeting.
Bear Brigade - A Volunteer Opportunity!

Join University of Central Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University with the Bear Brigade!
  • At Wekiwa Springs State park.
  • On September 12th and 13th, and December 5th through 9th.
  • From 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. on each of those dates
  • Tarflower will be providing FWC bear outreach materials
  • Tarflower is looking to provide 4 - 5 volunteers for these workshops
  This year three elementary schools from Orange County and one school from Seminole County will be attending the Wings of Hope workshop. Clay & Wekiva Springs Elem 4th grade, Rock Springs Elem 5th grade, and Heathrow Elementary 3rd grade will be involved.

“As a biologist and a parent I’ve seen children lose interest in science early, even before middle school. But if you show them science, really make it relevant where they can see it, taste it, smell it, they are floored and want to know more and more,” said Graham Worthy, Ph.D., chair of UCF’s biology department. “That’s why we wanted to do this, to help young children stay excited about science. We need to be reaching out to them earlier.”

  Wings of Hope will be traveling to the Orlando area to educate elementary students in that region on how we can protect and co-exist with the Florida black bear. The students will spend the day at Wekiwa State Park, learning about what bears eat, physical characteristics, cubs, and more. The students will then go on a guided hike in the park to further learn about the black bears habitat and the flora and fauna in their own backyard. These students will then be paired with elementary students in the Fort Myers area, who are also learning about the black bear. These ‘bear buddies’ will be able to share their knowledge and experience with this beautiful animal, and how they are stepping up to help them.
Please contact Catherine Bowman with your interest of getting involved with this project.

Review of the August Field Trip to Oakland Nature Preserve       by Pete Dunkelberg

   We gathered at the Oakland Nature Preserve around five in the afternoon and met our host and guide, Jackie Rolly on the veranda. After everyone arrived Jackie gave us an introduction to the property along with an assignment. She handed out a numerous list of sandhill species that had been seeded or planted throughout several acres behind the building. We were asked to check off the species we recognized on our stroll. This was not as easy as it would seem. The sun was low enough to provide shade from nearby trees. We walked through a thick meadow of young plants, including a number a grass species, that were still getting ready to bloom. We held a list of 75 botanical names, having fun identifying what we could, learning new things as we walked along. A late September hike would provide more blooms, aiding in identification. Clearly standing out were sandsquares (Paronychia rugelii). Several species of Paronychia place their small white flowers in squarish groups, but this species does it the best.

   Soon after we saw the sandsquares, it was time to start on the very long boardwalk out to Lake Apopka. We received a new list, 53 plants to spot as we walked down the boardwalk. Right at the beginning there was a firebush nearly the size of a house. Swamp dogwoods (Cornus foemina) with their pretty yet poisonous blue berries were growing in several places along the way. Scarlet swamp hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) and duckpotato (Sagittaria latifolia) emerged closer to the lake as we walked through a fine swamp forest of mostly pop ash (Fraxinus caroliniana). At last we came to the lake. It was time to enjoy our picnic on the pier with baby alligators swimming nearby and watching the sun set over Lake Apopka. We had a pleasant twilight walk back along the boardwalk. It was just about dark when we reached our cars and said goodbye.

2016 FNPS Annual Conference Summary   by Phyllis Gray

    Our March program featured a presentation on the highlights of previous FNPS Conferences, do you remember?  Well, Wednesday, May 17, 2016 rolled around, and it was time to set off on our journey to this year’s event, hosted and sponsored by the Paw Paw Chapter. Mary Maxwell and I left Orlando. We drove East through rural areas, crossed the St. Johns River and turned Northeast on HWY 415. When we reached Taylor Road in Volusia County, we turned into the Spruce Creek area. Purple cows marked the way to Full Moon Natives, where we enjoyed the dooryard farm animals (goats, chickens, donkey, pigs, etc.) and stopped to wander among the stepping stones, through the many native plants being prepared for the Conference plant sale, beginning on Friday.

    Next stop was River Grill on US1. We enjoyed the outdoor porch seating overlooking the Tomoka River. After dining on shrimp Tacos and sharing Florida Sunshine Cake (an orange confection) we continued back south a short way and headed east to Ormond Beach, crossed the Halifax River, turning south to Daytona Beach Resort. We checked in, and picked up our 36th Conference registration packets. The beautiful program booklet was edited by Stacey Matrazzo, and is a work of art! We saw our first Tarflower member, Jackie Rolly, who was presenting a program on Oakland Nature Preserve.  We took a walk on the beach spotting a ghost crab, many birds, and several native seashore plants, including Searocket, Railroad Vine, blanket flower, and hydrocotyle (in bloom). We even glimpsed a pale sunset. Thus ended the first day.

Thursday, May 18¸we went to the Door of Reflections for breakfast. We dined with Martha Steuart, Paul Austin from Palm Bay and Travis MacLendon from the Calhoun County Herbarium. Then everyone headed out to their field trips. Different this year was no single start time from the hotel, as was the tradition. We discovered our Spruce Creek pontoon Boat Tour at Cracker Creek was 2/3 mile west of the Full Moon Natives. After the group of ten assembled, we boarded the pontoon boat and began our cruise traveling from a blackwater freshwater creek through the transition to a brackish marsh habitat. Along the way the boat canopy was lowered twice to pass under bridges. We observed alligator, birds, plants, and learned of four archeological formations as we edged along the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve. We started at the highest Pamlico Ridge and passed an outcropping where Indians left traces of their presence 7-8,000 years ago. Back on land, we enjoyed our lunch under a shaded pavilion. After lunch we were carted to the adjacent Gamble Place with remnant grove and early packing house to see the historical use of the land. The Gambles navigated the Halifax River to Spruce Creek to reach the Retreat site. There were more recent buildings from the early 1900’s which included Snow White cottage, Witches house, and Owl tower. (Camera battery died and the charger was left at home. Oh, no! No more photos!)

    On our journey back to the hotel, we visited the Casements. Home of John D. Rockefeller on the Halifax River. Free admission was granted to the three story history museum, gift shop, Boy Scout exhibit, and Hungarian needlework display. We visited garden behind the Art Museum and surprised a trio of raccoons at the pond. There was a beautiful waterfall and wandering paths with imprints of leaves, many of which appeared to be natives. Arriving back at the hotel presented a rainbow over the Atlantic Ocean as it rained.

    The Welcome Party for the 36th Annual Conference was moved from the outdoor pool deck to the indoor Ballroom. It included a barbecue menu and music by Gale Storm. More Tarflowers were in attendance: Julie Becker, Dr. Walter Taylor and Karin Taylor, Dr. Eliane Norman, Dr. Jack Stout, Alice Bard, David Piatt, and Catherine Bowman. The plant ID contest is an annual tradition. Two divisions (novice and expert) were set up in a room down the hall. With many participants kibitzing and commenting, Catherine along with Danny Young, selected the plants from several counties (encompassing the field trips offered) creating a competitive atmosphere. My request was to have my graded entry returned, along with the answer sheet. Thus ended the second day.

    Since my notes have gone astray, I will summarize the Friday and Saturday Keynote Speakers, programs, and events using notes shared by Sid Taylor. Keynote Speaker, Dr. Tom Hoctor spoke of the status of the Florida Wildlife Corridors and habitat preservation. Several speakers mentioned global warming. Other speaker themes included water, pollinators, birds, and various plant families or areas of Florida. Two of my favorite speakers were Roger Hammer who showcased photos from his newest book: Central Florida Wildflowers, and Dr. Craig Huegel who presented a “Roots” chapter from his work in preparation: A Gardener’s Guide. The closing Keynote speaker on Saturday afternoon was Clay Henderson who spoke of his career in practicing law and working to conserve as much of Florida as possible. He reviewed the history of the land buying programs and encouraged us to let our law makers, in this election year, know we expect them to do right by allocating Amendment 1 monies as the voters mandated.

    Saturday evening’s event was a gathering at the local art museum. We roamed the galleries to see part of a fabulous collection of works by Florida artists followed by dinner. I missed the Sunday field trips. As there are three program tracks running at the same time, it is worth seeking out other written accounts by attendees published in sister chapter newsletters. Reference the Sabal Minor and perhaps the Palmetto to learn about specific awards and highlights. We are proud to have a Tarflower member, Catherine Bowman, take office as the President of the state FNPS organization. Look forward to the 2017 Conference, which is rumored to be in the Pinellas County area.

Lake Apopka North Shore Wildlife Tours
An Opportunity for Adventure  presented by St Johns Water Management District
     Join biologist Lorne Malo for limited capacity nature tours of the property. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about the history and ongoing restoration of the property, perfect your wildlife and plant identification skills, and get some great photos. All but the hiking tour will be done via car caravan, including areas not normally open to vehicle access. Most vehicular tours will also include access to the Wildlife Drive on a closed day. Tours are limited to 20 people, and carpooling is encouraged to decrease vehicles on the area.
Thursday, Aug. 25 - This trip will start with a trip to the Clay Island observation tower overlooking Lake Apopka to see and photograph the sunrise. We will then be searching for Limpkin, Black-crowned & Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Wood Ducks and others. We will continue to bird the treelines and go to the sod farm for migrating shorebirds, swallows and warblers. From there we will travel to H Pond for waterfowl and shorebirds, and Keen Ranch for songbirds.

Wednesday, Sept. 7 - This trip will cover many of the roadway on the property including the Wildlife Drive and Ranch Road as we search for signs and sounds of the various kinds of wildlife that call Lake Apopka home. We will identify bird calls, mammal and reptile tracks, and scat.

Monday, Aug. 29 - This trip will venture to Clay Island and the Marsh Flow-way and all available aquatic areas in the vicinity in search of all of the dragonlies and butterflies found at Lake Apopka. We will search for the elusive Hayhurst's Scallopwing and the Yucca Giant-Skipper. The trip will also include the Wildlife Drive where we will set-up for sunset observations and photos.
Thursday, Sept. 22 - Here we will spend much of our time on the interior roads in search of turtles, snakes, alligators, frogs and more crossing and basking on the roads. Species identification will be covered, as well as how to tell if a snake is venomous. Mr. Malo will demonstrate how to safely move wildlife from roadways to prevent their injury or death from moving vehicles. The trip will also include the Wildlife Drive where we will set-up for sunset observations and photos.
TOUR TIMES: 3:00PM – 8:00PM

Saturday, Sept. 17 - We will caravan from the Apopka Field Station to the Clay Island Trailhead. From there, we will depart on foot for an approximate 3 to 4-mile hike on the Clay Island Trail Loop (white blaze). We will search for birds, butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, amphibians, and more.

Sunday, Sept 25 – We will caravan from the Apopka Field Station to the Clay Island Trailhead. From there, we will depart on foot for an approximate 5-mile hike on a portion of the Clay Island Trail Loop (white blaze), and if time permits, branch off to a new spur trail that leads to the Green Mountain Overlook. We will search for birds, butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, amphibians, and more.
Tuesday, Sept. 13 - We start with a trip to the Clay Island observation tower overlooking Lake Apopka to see and photograph the sunrise. We will then cover the interior roads, to include the Wildlife Drive, the pump house, Clay Island, Ranch Road, and Lake Apopka shoreline as we search out the many different kinds of plants, particularly fall-flowering upland and wetland species. Included will be important wildlife food plants, such as berry and mast producing species, along with larval food plants and nectar sources.

All tours will begin at the Apopka Field Station, 25633 County Road 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757.
Registration is required. Sign up for tours at
To allow for maximum participation, we are limiting registration to ONE TOUR PER PERSON.
All questions are good questions    by Amanda Martin

What soil type do I have, and why does that matter?

      On Sunday I met with some clients who recently bought a new home. The home is nestled in a small development on the edge of a low lying area, full of trees and seasonal standing water. As the house was built a few years ago, the property was leveled and back-filled for a suitable platform to construct the house. Most likely the natural soils lay buried on the site and no longer able to sustain the plants that once dominated this area. A carpet of sod has been laid throughout the yard and the fence is accented with fruiting trees, vines and shrubs. My clients wanted to have the existing plants identified and then solicited options for adding to the landscape. Conversations surrounding the question "Why Natives?" were discussed at length. For this discussion, natives give back to the pollinator community while providing an attractive growth habit or flower to the landscape. So, what plants should I suggest? Step one is to take a look at the soils. What historically occurred on this sight? Even if the site has been altered, this is a good starting point for the direction of the garden.

    First, I travel to the USDA NRCS Web soil survey for free online information. Click the green button to get started. Once you've started, look to the left panel for quick navigation options. Typing in an address will drop a pin directly on the property you are searching for. The map is slow, but you can zoom around and look for any parcel you wish to search for. Once the orange pin is on the map, select the red AOI tool (Area Of Interest) and outline the area you wish to investigate. You can make a box or outline the boundary you would like to search. Again, the program holds a lot of information, therefore it moves slowly and deliberately. The area you've selected will become outlined with blue hatch lines across the image indicating selection. Now that you have selected the area of interest, look to the top tabs on the page and click over to soil map.

The property I was looking up has Lochloosa fine sand as the dominate soil under the home. A quick google search of Lochloosa fine sand brings me to the official series description. As I read down, I find this helpful information.
  • DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Somewhat poorly drained; slow runoff; slow permeability. The water table is at depths of 30 to 60 inches for periods of 1 to 4 months during most years. It rises to depths of about 15 inches for 1 to 3 weeks. It recedes to depths of more than 60 inches during the drier seasons. Wetness in these soils on slopes is caused by seepage.
  • USE AND VEGETATION: Most of these soils are cleared. Tame pasture is the dominant use of these areas. Some cleared areas are used for corn, citrus, peanuts, tomatoes, and watermelons. Native vegetation consists of slash and loblolly pine, dogwood, hickory, live, laurel and water oak, sweetgum, red maple, and magnolia. The understory is waxmyrtle, briars, and native grasses.

These soils are naturally moist. Trees, shrubs and grasses that enjoy moist soils will do well on this site. Also, with the water table close to the surface, fertilization practices should be monitored when applied to the fruiting trees on the property.

    Now we know some of the specifics of the property. To get a larger view of the habitat we are looking to re-establish take a look at FANN's adapted vegetation map. I usually pull up the address on google maps, then zoom out so I can approximate the location on the vegetation map while I glance back and forth. My clients land just inside the Pine Flatwoods zone 9. They are surrounded on three sides by Sandhill zone 9 with Lake Apopka to the West. Just one click later, I am provided a summary and list of plants found in this natural community. Because of the Web soil survey search, I know this location is adapted to wet flatwoods and wet prairie adapted plants.

Now that we've walked through my client's search, I'm curious, where do you land?
Contact Us!
President Amanda Martin -
VP Programs Christine Warren -
VP Events Jim Erwin -
Secretary Cayce Salvino -
Treasurer Mark Kateli -
Record Volunteer Hours
Have you volunteered this year? 
In an attempt to capture all the work that FNPS Tarflower Chapter members do and how they contribute to our surrounding community we are working to gather volunteer information.

If you have volunteered at any of our Tarflower Chapter Events this year please take a moment to report your hours. There are currently 2 options available for hour reporting.  
Click the button above! It will take you to an online survey form.
  2) Look for a Volunteer Hour Recording sheet at the sign in table at the monthly meetings.
Want to Become a Member? - Join Today!

For more information regarding membership visit or call 321-271-6702.
        Gold: $500                     Not-for-profit organization $50
        Patron $250                   Family or household: $50
        Business: $150               Individual: $35
        Supporting: $100           Full time student: $15
Checks payable to: Florida Native Plant Society, P.O. Box 278, Melbourne, FL 32902-0278
The following photo credits were inadvertently omitted from the August 2016 Tarpaper: Photo Title by Photographer
  • Craig Huegel by Craig Huegel
  • Lake Apopka boardwalk by Internet search
  • Potting workshop by Cayce Salvino
  • Pine tree lightning strike by Internet Search 
  • Berlandiera subacaulis (Greeneyes) by Mary Keim.
To help at one of the upcoming events, contact Jim Erwin at 407-454-3882 or email
To contribute to the Tarpaper, contact Cayce Salvino, email
To participate in our workdays at Mead Garden, contact Catherine Bowman at 407-761-7109 or 
For general questions and inquiries about Tarflower happenings, contact Amanda Martin at 352-219-5381 or email.
See the events calendar for details of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Whether you have an hour or a day, and no matter your skills, Tarflower Chapter has a place for you!

Copyright © 2016 FNPS Tarflower Chapter, All rights reserved.

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